I sing the Doxology to my girls every night, sometimes softly while I hold their hands or play with their hair. Sometimes it’s more highly produced with a hairbrush microphone and each of us with our own parts; a sort of three-part harmony of adult baritone, four-year old can’t-find-a-tone, and two-year old babbling—and to God, I’m sure of it, it’s like music to His ears.
You know the song:
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Singing it so often, my hand in tiny-human hand, usually desperate for two curly-haired heads to finally sink into their pillow, I have had hours, literally, to mediate on this song’s truths. We sing these lines in our churches, perhaps you too sing them with your family. Have you considered them, though? Four lines of joy-filled, awe-inspiring, earth-shattering truth, appropriated into the depths of your being — if you really sing it, not just sing it.
Four times we sing to God praise. But it’s also an exhortation to each other to praise Him—“Praise God, praise him: for your soul, for your joy, praise him. . . praise the Trinity!”
“From whom all blessings flow”
What do you have that Providence has not given you? What curly-haired type blessings do you rejoice in? What wine have your lips tasted, or better still, a kiss from the wife of your youth (Proverbs 5:18, Song of Solomon 1:2)? And his blessings flow! They are a never-ceasing fountain, over-flowing, filling up, running over, inviting parched lips to drink.
“All creatures here below”
This is both evangelistic and eschatological; a joy-filled pleading and an awe-inspiring warning. All creatures, from every tongue, tribe, and race (Revelation 7:9), invited to fill the eternity-sized hole in their heart by doing the thing they were created to do—praise Him! And yet, prophetic also. For every tongue will confess, and every knee will bow, low before their King, to the glory of his Father (Philippians 2:10-11).
“Above, ye heavenly host”
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God. . .” (Luke 2:13). When we glory in God, praising His name, we joyfully tremble with the angels. Rocks would join the chorus if we opened not our mouth (Luke 19:40). Earth shatters as heaven collides, and the people of God, in the Spirit of God, sing of the glory of God, with the angels of God. Stop and wonder.
“Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”
Some denominations neuter the Doxology. Masculine pronouns replaced rendering the last two lines:
“Praise God for all that love has done; Creator, Christ, and Spirit, One.”
By taking out Father and Son, they remove the concrete and rebar of the love they sing about. Praise the Father! The eternal, infinite Loving Dad; before He was Creator he was loving Father of the Beloved Son (John 17:24). Praise the Son! The eternal, infinite, Beloved Son; before He was Christ he was the “glory as of the only Son from the Father,” at his Dad’s side (John 1:14, 18). And praise the Holy Ghost! He, the Spirit, who assures us that the Father’s love for the Son is also the Father’s love for us—all his sons and daughters in Christ (Romans 8:15-16).
Amen. Yes this is true. “But I don’t feel like He is near!” Yes this is true. “Not me, you don’t know what I’ve done!” Yes, this is true. Verily. Assuredly. Completely. Finally.
So, praise Him. Praise Him to your children. Praise Him in your gatherings. Praise Him in your sorrow. Praise Him in your blessing. Praise Him. The Triune God of the universe is worthy to be praised.